Tires represent about 35% of the energy consumed by automobiles. Fuel represents one of the largest expenses on a vehicle. There are several different factors that affect commercial vehicle & fleet vehicle fuel efficiency. With our fleet service experts, many of these factors can be changed in order to decrease the amount of fuel consumed.
Factors that Affect Fuel Economy
Aerodynamics and Speed – Drag caused by wind increases dramatically as speed increases. The use of roof fairings and trailer skirts can add 10% to 20% in fuel savings.
Driving Style – Fuel consumption dramatically increases as does speed. Rapid accelerations and braking also burn more fuel. Trucks left idling for long periods of time, consume unnecessary amount of fuel.
Inflation Pressure – Tires that are underinflated increases rolling resistance. It also increases wear and heats up the tire. This is also the primary cause of tire separations and zipper ruptures. Overinflated tires may improve fuel economy, but will result in more damage to the tires and irregular wear. This can actually increase your tire costs. The correct inflation pressure depends on the load being carried. The heavier a load, more air pressure is needed.
Wheel Alignment – For optimum fuel consumption, not only the steer axle but the tandem drive and trailer axles should also be properly aligned. Axles out of alignment create greater tire drag, thus increasing fuel consumption.
Brand and Type of Tire – Different tire types have different rolling resistances and the effect on fuel economy. Choosing the correct tire depends on the application of the tire and wheel position. The use of a single wide tire, instead of duals, can also lead to greater fuel savings.
For additional information, the US Environmental Protection Agency EPA developed SmartWay Transport-an innovative collaboration between the freight industry and government to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, improve fuel efficiency, and strengthen the freight sector. http://www.epa.gov/smartway/transport/